Attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg Remarks on Insurer’s Suit to Avoid Defense in $25 Million Worker Death Case
Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) February 17, 2014 – An insurance company is suing to avoid defending a worker death lawsuit.
The dispute arises from a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a construction worker who was buried alive in a workplace accident. State National Insurance Company argues that it has no obligation to defend US-Sino Investment Incorporated, the construction company named as a defendant.
State National has filed a complaint in federal court, claiming that it owes no duty of indemnification to US-Sino or the owner, Richard Xin Liu. The 2012 accident killed Raul Zapata Mercado and led regulators to issue a suspension of the company's contractor’s license.
“Far too many workers are injured or killed on the job all across the country,” observed Robert Briskman, a Chicago work injury attorney. “In the case of a tragic death such as this one, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate to bring some compensation to the family of the victim.”
In January 2012, a 12-foot-deep trench collapsed on Mercado at a Milpitas, California construction site after a three-week period of heavy rain. Mercado's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company a year later, demanding $25 million, including an award of punitive damages.
In the current case, the insurer has pointed to several exclusions that deny coverage for injury claims by contractors or employees in its commercial liability policy with US-Sino.
Another lawsuit has been brought against US-Sino by the owner of the home where the accident took place, claiming that the company failed to resume work after the accident.
State National argues that its policy excludes coverage for both suits. In addition to the exclusion regarding employee actions, the insurer cited other similar clauses, including one for punitive damages.
The insurer also claims that the policy excludes claims arising from “subsidence,” which includes events such as earthquakes, landslides and other earth movements.
The lawsuit seeks court orders to establish that the two lawsuits do not give rise to an indemnity obligation from State National. The insurer is also seeking reimbursement for costs already incurred while defending the construction company in the litigation.
Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
351 West Hubbard Street, Ste 810
Chicago, IL 60654
Facebook: Like Us!
Google+ Contact a Chicago personal injury attorney from Briskman Briskman & Greenberg on Google+.
- Personal Injury Claim Cites FitBit Data
Wearable devices that track the movements of users to help them with personal fitness goals can also produce evidence that can be used in personal injury lawsuits. The first known case to use data from the popular FitBit device is now underway. The plaintiff in the personal injury claim was injured four years ago, before ...
- Ford and Nissan Announce Recalls and Obama Administration Proposes NHTSA Budget Increase – Podcast
Ford and Nissan are collectively recalling almost a million trucks and vans. Plus the Obama administration proposes a budget increase for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on this month’s Chicago Injury Alert.
- Chicago Bicyclist Fatalities Increase in 2014
Last year in Chicago, seven bicyclists were killed in collisions with automobiles. That is an increase from three bicyclist fatalities in 2013, even as Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pledged to make Chicago the most bike-friendly city in the country. According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, bicyclist fatalities over the past five years were as ...
- The attack on workers’ compensation
Over the past decade, workers’ compensation benefits have deteriorated across the country as states initiate cost-cutting measures. A comprehensive new investigation by ProPublica and NPR reveals that these workers’ comp “reforms” have had a brutal effect: injured workers denied the help they need and taxpayers forced to bear the cost of workplace accidents. The ProPublica ...
- $20.6 million jury award upheld in birth injury case
A final appeal has been rejected by a state supreme court, allowing the plaintiffs in a birth injury lawsuit to receive a jury award of $20.6 million to care for their son, who has severe disabilities. The original verdict, in 2012, found that events during the child’s delivery caused oxygen deprivation, resulting in his disabilities. ...